Sequence Of Prophecy

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Who is Caught Up at the Time of the Rapture?

The Rapture will take place in Revelation 4: 1. We are told in I Thessalonians 4: 17 that the dead in Christ and the living in Christ will be caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds, in the air. At that point they will enter Heaven. John saw those things that he recorded in Revelation 4: 1 through 22: 21 while he was in the spirit (Rev. 4: 2). So, those events have not yet taken place.

Jesus made many mentions of His return. (See Matt. 24: 32 - 34, 36 - 44, 25: 1 - 13, Luke 17: 22, 26 - 30, 21: 28, John 14: 1 - 6.). Paul also spoke of it.

Apparently some of the Christians were confused about this subject.

So, Paul starts out by saying,
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,..." (I Thes. 4: 13)

Paul was not saying that the brethren were ignorant, but, instead, Paul was telling them that he did not want them to be ignorant about this subject. Paul wanted them to know.

So he says,
"...I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,..." (I Thes. 4: 13)

That is those who have died in Jesus.

"...that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." (I Thes. 4: 13)

Apparently they thought their loved ones (friends and relatives) were going to be left behind, would remain here on earth, in the grave, when this event that we call the Rapture happens.

Paul continues by saying,
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,..." (I Thes. 4: 14)

This is one of the essentials of the faith - we must believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again bodily from the tomb. He is alive forever more. Praise God that this is true, otherwise, we would all be lost (unsaved).

"...even so them also which sleep (have died) in Jesus will God bring with Him." (Christ) (I Thes. 4: 14)

When an individual dies in Christ his soul and spirit go to be with the Lord immediately upon death. For Paul said, " be absent from the body,...[is] be present with the Lord." (II Cor. 5: 8). So, when the Lord Jesus returns in the Rapture He will bring the souls and spirits of those who died in Christ with Him.

If those who have died in Christ believed, by faith, that Jesus died and rose again then, when this event (the Rapture) takes place, God will bring them back with Him (Christ). ("...God..." That has to be Jesus because He is the only Person of the Godhead who is returning.).

"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord (in the Rapture) shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep (have died in Christ)." (I Thes. 4: 15)

The living Christians, who are alive and remain, will not be caught up (raptured), before the dead in Christ, because they're going up together. These Christians were looking for the Lord to come soon. Paul was teaching them (the believers) that Jesus was going to come and they were to be waiting and looking for His return. And Jesus told us to "" for His coming (Matt. 24: 42, 25: 13).

"For the Lord Himself (in Person, in bodily form) shall descend from heaven with a shout, ("...Come up hither..." Rev. 4: 1), with the voice of the archangel,..." (I Thes. 4: 16)

Michael the archangel will utter his voice. (See Jude 1: 9.).

"...and with the trump of God:..." (I Thes. 4: 16)

There is the sound of the trumpet. If you read I Corinthians 15: 51 - 52 you will notice that there is "a sound of a trumpet" and "the dead in Christ are raised." In both I Thessalonians 4: 16 and in I Corinthians 15: 52 you will find those things.

"...and the dead in Christ shall rise..." (I Thes. 4: 16)

There's the resurrection of the dead in Christ. That is exactly what happens in I Corinthians 15: 51 - 52.

"...and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" (I Thes. 4: 16)

That's because they're 6 foot under more or less. If the dead and the living are going up together then the dead have to rise first.

"Then we which are alive and remain..." (I Thes. 4: 7)

There will be a large number of saved people (Christian believers) alive when Jesus comes back in the Rapture.

"...shall be caught up..." (I Thes. 4: 17)

The phrase "caught up" means to be raptured.

"...together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
"Wherefore (therefore) comfort one another with these words." (I Thes. 4: 17 - 18)

Most Christians do not want to talk about these things, let alone want somebody to comfort them by telling about these things. They do not want to hear about these things. How sad! They are missing many blessings because of that.

  All Rights Reserved Glen A. Duitman

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